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Questions tagged [interplanetary]

Questions regarding spacecraft designed to travel between planets.

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How to best patch my conics?

I thought I'd try to use patched conics to see what it's like. I'll go from LEO to LXO (low Planet-X orbit), co-planar all the way. If I understand correctly, I'll have (at least) five conics. The ...
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1answer
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Did IKAROS wake up from its 5th hibernation in Winter 2015?

The IKAROS solar sail entered its fifth hibernation in spring 2015, with a planned wake up in winter 2015 (Northern Hemisphere). However, there seems to be no news since then regarding the mission ...
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Are there any concrete plans to include chipsats for planetary suicide missions?

One of the potential uses for chipsats may be: Chipsats, which are smaller and cheaper still, are seen as disposable sensors that could be sent on suicide missions to explore hostile environments, ...
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297 views

Calculating hyperbolic orbit elements for interplanetary intercepts

As part of a final year project at university I'm currently trying to simulate an interplanetary transfer between Earth and Mars for a manned mission. The ultimate aim is to use NASA's GMAT to ...
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1answer
551 views

How much fuel is needed for the motor landing and taking off on mars?

For example, the Apollo lunar module landing on the moon was worth approximately 60% fuel of the total weight (on wiki 8 tons of the 15 tons). Departure from the surface was about 50% of fuel (2.5 ...
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152 views

Could e-sails provide safer space travel

E-sails (Electric Sails) deflect Solar wind protons to produce thrust, that's good protection for living things in a permanent centre module that produces and stores food and oxygen. I was thinking a ...
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1answer
979 views

Pork chop plot generator and Lambert solver test cases

I am looking for a free tool which can generates pork chop plots. I'm doing this to compare the output of my tool with one of a third party. Additionally, if anyone has specific test cases on solving ...
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2answers
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What science could be performed by an extra-solar probe?

An earlier question asked whether there were any planned missions outside the solar system, which made me think of this question. What would the scientific benefits be in sending a probe outside the ...
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Size of rocket correlation with its performance

What could the link be between the «white performance bars show» below and the «actual size of the rocket»? The quote below seems to imply there is one. But isn't that white scale purely arbitrary? ...
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2answers
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SpaceX ITS - going beyond Mars

Let's assume that Elon Musk's plan to go to Mars is a success and there are several spacecraft which regularly go to Mars and back. At this point, how feasible would it be to start exploring the rest ...
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Help converting from ECEF frame to ICRF frame for interplanetary mission design

I am writing a piece of software which propagates the orbit of a spacecraft from an initial Earth orbit to an interplanetary orbit. My simple two-body propagation works fine in either a geocentric or ...
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How close humans are for interstellar travel? [duplicate]

I have heard many times about interstellar travels. Are centrifuge space craft (artificial gravity) and warp drives technologies being built or still it is just concepts ? Nearest start system is ...
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203 views

Electromagnetic accelerator in space

Let's imagine there are already interplanetary spacecrafts and travel. Would it be possible to create electromagnetic accelerator somewhere in the outer space? It would work this way: There would be ...
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188 views

Power requirements for solar electric interplanetary vehicle

I am interested in electric propulsion for manned interplanetary craft. There must be a lot of models for a craft able to travel to Mars, for instance. I am wondering what the power requirements seem ...
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1answer
294 views

Does NASA use Newtonian model of gravity for plotting the course of Juno or general relativity?

With the huge mass of Jupiter and its fast, approximately 10 hours daily rotation, there may be substantial twisting of space-time around it. A distortion of such magnitude that may call for ...
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Why haven't telescopes been sent to other planets?

Why haven't we sent telescopes to other planets? Wouldn't we be able to see further? Aren't we interested in seeing further without having to send a probe that will take years to get to where it's ...
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1answer
671 views

Relationship of 'C3' to Delta-V for interplanetary missions

In what way does the concept of 'C3' relate to 'Delta-V' in interplanetary missions?
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1answer
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What is the launch profile for interplanetary missions typically like? [duplicate]

Elon Musk discussed in a question/answer session after the recent Falcon 9 launch that interplanetary missions are likely to use a landing barge, due to high horizontal launch speeds required for such ...
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3answers
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Why was Venus rather than Mars targeted for the first interplanetary landings?

This is a question about early planetary missions. It looks like there was only one early (unsuccessful) landing mission to Mars and that subsequently Venus became the target for interplanetary ...
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3answers
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Viability of orbital refueling

One of more successful tactics in Kerbal Space Program in order to get big missions with a lot of delta-V going is to launch the big interplanetary craft (with landers, rovers, service modules and ...
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524 views

Are there any free return trajectories for a manned Mars flyby mission between 2018 and 2024?

I am looking for a mission profile including the delta-v for burns for an interplanetary mission to Mars. I have been unable to find any free return trajectories between 2018 and 2024, are there any?
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1answer
240 views

Interplanetary space debris

How would a spaceship traveling through interplanetary space, let's say to Mars, avoid all the space debris or there isn't any interplanetary space debris at all, is it only orbital debris around the ...
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Why not leave interplanetary probes on standby after primary mission, activating them at will decades later?

Imagine a spacecraft which orbits or follows an object like Dawn, Rosetta and Cassini do today, not being decommissioned and deliberately crashed, but instead put in hibernation. With enough fuel and ...
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Cyclotron engines as a means of thrust for interplanetary travel?

How feasible is it to use a cyclotron in this manner for space propulsion? Inject small amounts (aliquots) of ionized matter into cyclotron at some high integer multiple n of the cyclotron frequency $...
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1answer
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Titan's interior

I'm reading an article and it says It's [sic] internal makeup is likely differentiated into several layers, with a 3,400-kilometre (2,100 mi) rocky center surrounded by layers composed of ...
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Generating plot of LV's performance as a function of the C3 parameter

Following my previous question about Ariane 5 performance data for escape missions, I would like to know how the plot of launch vehicle capabilities like the next one are obtained: More specifically, ...
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1answer
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Ariane 5 performance data for escape missions

I would like to know the performance for escape mission of the Ariane 5 launcher. More precisely, I would like "LV Performance vs. C 3" curve. My problem is, I can find this info for a lot of ...
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1answer
346 views

What is the escape velocity of Saturn at Enceladus distance?

To what velocity would a spacecraft have to accelerate to launch from the surface of Enceladus into orbit around it? And from the orbital distance of Enceladus, what would be the escape velocity from ...
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2answers
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Are there more operating interplanetary missions today than in the past?

From this question, we have learned that there is in fact fewer interplanetary missions being planned now than there has a decade ago. One of the items discussed as to why this might be the case is ...
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2answers
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Is NASA launching fewer interplanetary missions?

We were discussing this in the chat room yesterday, and I thought it might make an interesting question. While missions are lasting longer today than they perhaps ever have, it seems like there are ...
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1answer
381 views

Is there any space objects database? [closed]

I wonder if is there any databse about space objects, giving information about types and may be relative positions of objects in space. I'm asking this because my company aims to develop a software ...
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4answers
11k views

Why don't we launch spacecraft from the Moon?

The Moon has less gravity than the Earth and its own orbital speed around the Earth removes some of the velocity required to leave the Earth-Moon space, right? We could send probes or spacecraft much ...
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3answers
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Is it possible to have a satellite that bounces data back from sattelites farther out in the solar system?

Say we put a satellite in orbit around Neptune or Uranus that simply stores and sends data back to earth? Like as a big range extender for missions like New Horizons that work so far out that ...
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1answer
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Kinematics help

If a constant acceleration starship started at rest, then accelerated at 25G (245m/s^2) how long would it take to fly an AU (149 597 871 kilometers)? I am a writer, so I have no experience with ...
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285 views

How is real position of probes orbiting other planets measured?

I imagine that measuring real positions and orbital elements of satellites orbiting other planets after they perform braking maneuver to get to their final orbit must be rather difficult. Especially ...
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1answer
274 views

Low Time-of-Flight Lambert Solver Trajectory Errors

I have a Lambert solver that is used to calculate the required delta-V for interplanetary transfer trajectories, but I recently ran into a problem. It works well for "long" time-of-flight trajectories ...
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How useful is the Interplanetary Transport Network?

Wikipedia summarizes the Interplanetary Transport Network/Interplanetary Superhighway fairly succinctly, although it's pretty vague to someone who doesn't know what's going on: The Interplanetary ...
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1answer
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How much accuracy is required to achieve interplanetary orbit without adjustment or deceleration?

It seem that "Around 15,000 tonnes of meteoroids, micrometeoroids and different forms of space dust enter Earth's atmosphere each year" some references say "Millions of meteors occur in the Earth's ...
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Finding accurate periapse rendezvous radius using interplanetary Lambert solver

I have a numerical interplanetary trajectory model and am trying to find a way to accurately insert a spacecraft into a rendezvous orbit with its target planet having a particular periapse radius (for ...
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1answer
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What payload mass can different launchers send in Hohmann trajectories to different destinations?

It would be nice to get an overview of what the launchers are capable of in terms of actual space missions. I understand that this depends on many factors, but the Hohmann trajectory seems to be a ...
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1answer
193 views

Mathematics of Gravity Assists

I have some old code for a simple interplanetary trajectory solver and thought it would be interesting to try and extend it to incorporate gravity assists as well. Does anyone know of any books/...
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1answer
566 views

When will 3 outer planets line up for a flyby mission next time?

All 4 outer planets line up once every 175 years. 2 of them line up at least once every orbit Jupiter makes, about every 12 years. But how often do 3 of the outer planets line up? Here's a simple ...
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1answer
618 views

Can I use Tsiolkovsky's rocket equation in combination with this equation for a Hohmann transfer to find what mass of propellant is needed?

I'm wondering if it's appropriate to use the two equations in order to solve for m0/m1 to find the mass of propellant needed to perform a hohmann transfer. If it isn't, can someone suggest an ...
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Accelerometer in space

If my understanding of the General Theory of Relativity is correct, according to the Equivalence Principle, forces due to gravity and acceleration are indistinguishable. If that's the case, then an ...
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Could the ISS be propelled to Mars?

As the ISS has shown the ability for human habitation for extended periods, might we be able to add a propulsion unit to the ISS that would be capable of providing delta-v to send ISS to a martian ...
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Given limits on acceleration for human space flight, what are the minimum travel times in our solar system for real powered journeys? [duplicate]

The human body has a limit of being able to withstand, roughly, 2g for very long periods without causing too many health problems. An engine technology, that could produce constant thrust producing ...
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1answer
1k views

Are there any proposals for a permanent orbital interplanetary ferry?

I believe I read in a book once a description of a kind of interplanetary ferry that would orbit the sun and regularly pass different planets like Mars and Earth. The idea of the ferry is to have a ...
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1answer
202 views

Theoretically, could gravitational time dilation ever be an issue when visiting an alien planet?

If humanity ever got to the point of being able to explore new planets (assuming we could land there), are there any known entities in the universe that are so massive that gravitational time dilation ...
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Tracking Arc and Time for Precise Orbit Determination

It is said that for Precise Orbit Determination (POD) of interplanetary spacecrafts, generally, during the cruise phase for aiding accurate TCM (Trajectory Correction Maneuvers) planning, long arc of ...
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Can aerobrake maneuvers for entering orbit stress a ship over time?

Say you are in a happy future where mother ships travel between Earth and the Moon, or Mars, or Venus on regular runs, and are met by shuttles at each end of their voyages that transfer people, cargo, ...